Viva la vida

Trip Start Jul 11, 2008
Trip End Sep 30, 2008

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Thursday, July 31, 2008


Were still alive! We´ve not been bitten by a coral snake (althoughwe have seen one), been swept into the warm, clear blue carribean sea yet and a hurricane isnt yeton its way. No we just havnt worte the blog in a while because we´ve been busy seeing the sights of honduras bacuse were on the move already.

But first the iguana station. So Claire made me that birthday cake and it was delicious. It wasnt the secret she mentioned it would be as i read the blog the day before but she doesnt know that yet (unless she reads this). The guys made it for me whilst i was out swimming in some freshwater caves. Dont worry i didnt dive under them or anything just bobbed about. they were cool bacuse they were tiny and real secluse so it felt like we were the first to find them. I think we had a disguistingly bland rissoto we made ourselves for dinner that night.

I woke up the morning of my birthday to the iguana station being decorated in birthday balloons. We had our morning meeting to decide the tasks for the week, then  we had the cake for breakfast (presumably Claires idea). Claire and Han decorated the cake in opal fruits to spell 22. Nice idea but they didnt really go with the toffee icing the cake had on top. It was all hands on deck after that as some top govermental person was visiting the station in the afternoon. I cleaned the toilets ready and we generally spruced the place up. We met her for all of 10 seconds but she seemed impressed in those few seconds anyway. I hope she used the toilet. So after a hard days work we treated oursleves to dinner out the  headed to the beach for the party it had on it that night for carnival. We sank a few g&t´s by the bonfire to finish off what would have been my hottest birthday to date.

The rest of last week is already a bit sketchy in my memory so i´ll just give you the highlights. On tuesday I got very muddy and very bitten clambering through the mangroves to collect crabs to the iguans to eat. I went in my walking boots, which provided little protection as i consistently kept sinking knee deep in the mud. I decieded I hadn´t had enough of the mangroves so went to a different location on the island to do what is know in the business as a ´transect´. This involved walking through the mangroves along a certain path trying to spot the swamper iguana. I didn´t actually find any myself, thats not to say i was of no use that day but i did see the 8 that Monica spotted. Then on Friday we got given the day off as it was carnival week so we went to the bat caves. I think im safe in saying this was a highlight of Utila for the three of us. We climbed in the cave mid-afternoon to see them all hanging out, literally. There was a snake in the ceiling and a treachrous climb into the cave but Han and Claire (and me) braved to have the little critters fly round us in the caves. We then climbed up the tallest hill (theres only 2!) on the island, which was all of 70m high. We got a great view of the island from the top as we coild see the sea, the sun the jungle, amngroves and the town. The whole island basically. We passed the bat caves on the way back so sat there and watched them all flying out at dusk. Initally they were dribbling out a couple at a time, then as the sun went down then started flocking out. A few were a little surprised to see us sat there, as they fell out of the caves and just flew stright at us. At us but not into us so seeing them emerging from the caves was better than being in the caves.

This brings us to saturday, carnival parade day! In the morning we made our costumes. Han painted eye masks for her and Claire, whislt I made alpha male iguana spikes to attach to my back out of a huge palm leaf. The picutes speak for themselves but it just looked like i´d tied a palm leaf to my back. You know if tell a joke and have to explain it that its not good. well i wold say the same is true for costumes. Enough said. Nort just for the costumes but from me. we´d be here all night otherwise.

ps Fern you can open our parcel becuase it has some things in there for various people.

Claire: On Sunday we got ourselves ready to leave Utila so didnt really get up to much. Monday morning we were on the ferry at 6:20am and thankfully the crossing was a lot smoother than the first time round. Aha Michael Jackson's jut come on in the internet cafe we're in.

So we left the Iguana Station 2 weeks earlier than planned. It was a really fun and interesting experience but we were itching to get on with our travels and had kind of had enugh of being surrounded by white people with ginger dreadlocks. We got to La Ceiba mid morning and checked into a little hostel run by a Dutch family who spoke no English. La Ceiba was a bit of a messy town, not really much to see or do except for supposedly ´the prettiest park in all of central america´- hmmm, Lonely Liar striked again! 

The next morning we were picked up to go to Omega Jungle Lodge in the Pico Bonito national park just utside La Ceiba. We trekked to a waterfall in the depths of the park with the help of Alejandrio a 65 year old Honduran guy who not only walked quicker than us but also carried all the water. The trek was more of a scramble/climb and we all reeeeally enjoyed it. It also involved wading across a river, something which required more balance than I have so i fell in and continued the rest of the trek in soaking wet clothes, which the sandflies absolutely loved. Sitting under a towering waterfall at the end of a 2 hour trek was very rewarding and refreshing, too! That afternoon we chilled at the lodge with a daiquiri or two, and went back down to the river for a swim.

The next day we took a bus to Trujillo, an historic town on the Caribbean coast where Chris Columbus first set down on mainland America. A very sleepy town, with not a huge amunt to do except for relax. We went to the little fort and were guided around it by a guy who was either drunk or mentally ill. He kept talking about when he went to Finland and let the doctors work on his brain... (????) so we didnt learn a huge amount about the fort itself. We watched the sunset from a taverna on the beach and then spent the evening trying to remember how the theme tune to ET goes. Very productive.

Today we came to Tela and have spent the afternoon making plans for the next two days. Tomorrow we are off to the second biggest botanical garden in the world and the day after we're going kayaking in the mangroves. So that about caps it off. We're going to struggle to write blogs as often as we were doing, but we'll keep you as up to date as we can. Sorry that this blog is a bit uninspired by me; someone whacked the aircon up to full strength so i'm shivering too much to write or think of anything vaguely interesting to say.

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